The Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC)

The Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) was established in 1993 in terms of the Agricultural Produce Agents Act, Act 12 of 1992. Mr. Francois Knowles, Registrar of APAC explains their role as “to regulate the activities of fresh produce agents, export agents and livestock agents in South Africa”. In addition, he added that APAC is also responsible to maintain and enhance the status and dignity of the fresh produce agent profession.

 

On 18 September 2020, the Minister for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, published (in Government Gazette - No. 43723) her intention to introduce the Agricultural Produce Agents Bill 2020 in the National Assembly during the fourth quarter of 2020 (October to December 2020).

 

The Bill seeks to amend the Agricultural Produce Agents Act, Act 12 of 1992 (the Act), so as to refine certain definitions; provide for certain provisions of the Act to apply to all categories of agents; clarify the appointment and responsibilities of the registrar; provide for financial statements of the council to be audited by the Auditor General; provide for insurance of the fidelity fund; further clarify the conditions for acting as an agent; provide for trust accounts for export and livestock agents; provide for insurance by export and fresh produce agents; and to provide for matters concerned therewith.

 

The draft Bill is now available at https://www.dalrrd.gov.za/ (page 2) in anticipation of publication. Also available on the website is a “Memorandum on objects of the Agricultural Agents Amendment Bill, 2020”. The memorandum highlights the following:

 

  • Summary of the Bill (page 2 to 14) – all the changes and amendments to the Act as provided for in the Amendment Bill, 2020.
  • Organisations and institutions consulted (page 15).
  • The Parliamentary procedure (page16 to 18).

Once formally introduced into Parliament, the relevant Portfolio Committee will, according to their schedule, publish the Bill for comment where the public and industry will be invited to mark representations to them.

 

Knowles advises that all industry role players that are affected by the proposed changes, scrutinize the proposed Bill, and submit their inputs once requested to do so. He concludes by saying “amendments to our Act is long overdue and any amendments should serve to enhance our industry in engaging the future”.

 

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